Origin stories are a total drag, we know, but, after numerous sequels, spinoffs, and remakes (not to mention a film franchise that played fast and loose with the story’s lore), an origin story of Resident Evil might just be necessary at this point. And that’s exactly what we’re getting with Constantin Film’s new live-action spin of the Capcom survival horror series, which, per The Hollywood Reporter, is both an “official origin story” and a “reboot” of the Milla Jovovich franchise.
Does this mean we’ll be exploring the puzzle-filled mansion made iconic by the first game in the series? That’s unclear, but we will be spending time in Raccoon City, the setting of Resident Evil 2, with Chris Redfield, Claire Redfield, Leon Kennedy, Albert Wesker, and William Birkin, the primary protagonists and antagonists of the first two games. Better yet, the film will be set in 1998, meaning Avan Jogia gets to keep Leon Kennedy’s adorably swoopy emo hair.
Speaking of Jogia, he’s been announced as one of the leads alongside Kaya Scodelario, Hannah John-Kamen, Robbie Amell, Tom Hopper, and Neal McDonough. Scodelario, who led last year’s better-than-anybody-expected Crawl, will star as Claire, and The Flash’s Robbie Amell will join forces as the Redfield siblings. The Stranger’s Hannah John-Kamen, meanwhile, will unlock several doors as the beret-wearing S.T.A.R.S. soldier Jill Valentine, and The Umbrella Academy’s Tom Hopper and veteran heavy Neil McDonough will chug numerous viruses as series villains Wesker and Birkin, respectively.
Johannes Roberts, the 47 Meters Down director who is helming the reboot, said in a statement: “With this movie, I really wanted to go back to the original first two games and creates the terrifying visceral experience I had when I first played them whilst at the same time, telling a grounded human story about a small dying American town that feel both relatable and relevant to today’s audiences.”
One interesting question looms: How connected will Roberts’ film be to the live-action series that Constantin is also developing with Netflix? That series, which unfolds across two timelines, centers specifically on a pair of 14-year olds with the telling name of Wesker. They also live in Raccoon City, and we wouldn’t be surprised if Constantin is aiming for one of those fancy film/TV crossovers. It’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility; Hopper, after all, currently stars on one of the streamer’s most popular shows.
A release date is forthcoming, but THR reports that a theatrical release is slated for next year. That, thank god, still gives them time to cast Barry, the greatest of all Resident Evil characters. (Honestly, just dye David Harbour’s hair red and you’re all set.)